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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Oct 1;69(2):342-9. Epub 2007 May 24.

Prevention of radiochemotherapy-induced esophagitis with glutamine: results of a pilot study.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital de l'Esperança, Institut Municipal d'Assistència Sanitaria (IMAS), Barcelona, Spain.



To assess the usefulness of oral glutamine to prevent radiochemotherapy-induced esophagitis in patients with lung cancer, and to determine the dosimetric parameter predictive of esophagitis.


Seventy-five patients were enrolled; 34.7% received sequential radiochemotherapy, and 65.3% received concomitant radiochemotherapy. Every patient received prophylactic glutamine powder in doses of 10 g/8 h. Prescribed radiation doses were 45-50 Gy to planning target volume (PTV)1 (gross tumor volume plus wide margins) and 65-70 Gy to PTV2 (reduced margins). The primary endpoint was the incidence of Grade 2 or greater acute esophagitis.


No patient experienced glutamine intolerance or glutamine-related toxicity. Seventy-three percent of patients who received sequential chemotherapy and 49% of those who received concomitant chemotherapy did not present any form of esophagitis. V50 was the dosimetric parameter with better correlation between esophagitis and its duration. A V50 of <or=30% had a 22% risk of esophagitis Grade >or=2, which increased to 71% with a V50 of >30% (p = 0.0009).


The use of oral glutamine may have an important role in the prevention of esophageal complications of concomitant radiochemotherapy in lung cancer patients. However, randomized trials are needed to corroborate that effect. V50 is the dosimetric parameter with better correlation with esophagitis grade and duration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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